Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
On this day in 1949, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 in game four of the Stanley Cup finals to become the first team in league history to win their third straight championship.
The Wings took a 1-0 lead during the first three minutes of play with left winger Ted Lindsay shoving the puck home after passes from George Gee and Gordie Howe.
Young Ray Timgren tied it up for the Leafs shortly after the halfway mark of the second period when he batted home Max Bentley’s rebound. Fiery Cal Gardner shoved the Leafs ahead with only 15 seconds of play remaining in the middle session. Bentley sent home the final marker during the last five minutes of play with Tingren setting him up.
The Leafs were led by the likes of captain Ted Kennedy, who scored 18 goals and 39 points in 59 games, along with Harry Watson, Max Bentley and Cal Gardner up front, while on the back end were the likes of Jimmy Thomson, Gus Mortson, Garth Boesch and a 21-year-old Bill Barilko.
In the net for the Leafs was none other than the legenday Turk Broda who started all 60 games that year. Behind the bench was Hap Day, who led Toronto to a 22-25-13 regular season record — good enough for fourth of the six teams in the NHL.
In round one of the playoffs, Toronto hit another level. They faced the Boston Bruins in round one taking care of them four games to one before heading to Detroit’s Olympia arena for game one of the Stanley Cup finals.
There, Toronto took a 3-2 win and didn’t look back winning their next three enroute to the championship title.
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